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Large pay rise for IT chief at HMRC
by Susie Hughes at 10:24 14/08/06 (Press)
The information technology chief of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been given a 25 per cent pay rise despite presiding over a catalogue of embarrassing blunders at the newly merged tax department, according to a report in the Telegraph.
The news report states that Departmental documents reveal that Steve Lamey, HMRC's chief information officer, received salary plus benefits of nearly 260,000 in 2005-06, almost as much as the earnings of the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King.

Since Lamey joined the department in October 2004, it has found itself mired in a series of IT scandals.

The National Audit Office last month published a report in which it said the department took a year to close a website that allowed organised criminals to steal tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money. Up to 55m was stolen when fraudsters applied for tax credits through the department's e-portal, which allowed claimants to apply for benefits online.

Mr Lamey said in a speech in May last year that about one third of the 90m letters sent by the Revenue each year were returned because they were sent to the wrong address.

Also, earlier this year the Revenue's Electronic Compliance System issued incorrect penalty notices to 10,000 businesses, each claiming at least 400. There has also been criticism of the IT function at HMRC for tax credits overpayment, in which around 2bn too much was paid out to claimants.

Mr Lamey is in his second year of a four-year fixed-term contract. HMRC claimed that during that time HMRC "has dramatically improved its IT performance and the delivery of IT services to its customers."

Full article: Revenue's IT chief scoops pay rise - Telegraph, August 2006.

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